thehefner: (Default)
For the past few weeks, I've kept trying to start writing a post that went, "So things are really fucked right now." The first time I was going to write that was going to be a difficult enough prospect already, since in many ways, I have literally YEARS of pent-up feelings and long-running problems which I haven't been able to articulate here, so I just kind of stopped trying. If I can't put my feelings into the words they need to be in, why bother wasting what little time and energy I have on a muddled, miserable, wallowing post that won't make sense anyway?

But finally, as of a month ago, I had reached that breaking point where I had to write SOMETHING out. And just as I got to work on "So things are really fucked right now..." things got even more fucked. And the fuckery just got worse and worse. Today, just as things were looking like they were improving, they got fucked even WORSE, and after spending an entire day feeling sick and angry and numb and helpless, we find out that, yes, the situation can indeed get even worse than the even worse that it already was as of this morning.

I don't think I can write this out. There's too much history, too much shit, too much... everything, and I'm so rusty with my writing that I cannot find the words to explain even the simplest of problems. I have lost touch with that part of me that could vent everything through words, could take all of the angst and drama and mold it into something of worth here, if not on stage. I feel like I'm trapped in tar, and I'm so tired from the struggle that I don't even have the strengths to try lifting up one arm. Maybe actually writing this post counts.

So I guess this is just me doing my best to check in, say hi, let you all know that things suck right now, but we're still here, we're carrying on, and we're holding out for the time when things improve and will actually stay improved for an extended period of time. Hopefully, I'll be able to find the words again and then this LJ will actually mean something to me once more. Until then, if you've missed your daily dose of Hefner, you can find me at [livejournal.com profile] about_faces, my Tumblr, or my Facebook. I'll just keep writing about geek stuff until I can write about myself again.
thehefner: (Aguirre: ORLY?)


I hate to say this--to be the ONLY person I've seen so far to say this--but "meh."

I'm actually at that point of superhero exhaustion where the Avengers trailer does absolutely nothing for me aside from that bit of the Hulk saving Tony and Loki's snazzy new outfit. I never wanted to feel this way, but ugh, I just can't muster up anything close to enthusiasm for it. At this point, it feels like being excited for the next big event storyline, all hype and gimmick, which has almost certainly been overly-produced by committee until all life has been mushed out, just as Iron Man 2 was. There's too much at stake with this film for there to be much anything in the way of breathing space, creatively-speaking. And whatever there is will be coming from Joss Whedon, whose dialogue and creative bad habits I absolutely loathe.

In more intriguing-to-me news which will only be relevant to the more hardcore geeks amongst you:



God, he's so magnificently hubristacular. Also, I love that the format for the film is a TED Talk. I don't know why, but that touch makes me ridiculously happy.

That said, some people are taking Ridley Scott at his word that Weyland will be the one and only connection between Prometheus and Alien/Aliens (there are no other movies! None!). This is patently not true, considering that the also-awesome trailer clearly showed the same ship and "space jockey" room from the beginning of Alien. So either Ridley's gone Lucas-levels of delusional on us or--more likely--he's fibbin' to try and keep a few surprises secret.

I can't imagine that we won't see ONE glimpse of a Xenomorph, even something as small as an egg. But even still, I don't need that. I like that they're fleshing out the Weyland-Yutani Corporation in of itself. I think that'll add some nice extra enjoyment to the older movies.

Of course, the question now is whether nor not Aliens VS Predator is continuity, since Lance Henricksen played Mr. Weyland. People are already speculating that Lance and Guy could be uncle/nephew or something. I like the idea that Guy!Weyland designed the Bishops after his uncle. Of course, that would mean that he's the same guy who's in Alien³ WHICH DOESN'T EXIST LALALALA NEVER MIND.

And just to bring this back full circle, I feel it worth reminding the world that Joss Whedon wrote Alien Resurrection. While I love me some Marvel comics, I think I'll be putting all my intrigue on the side of Prometheus.

Never mind that Prometheus is being co-written by one of the main writers for Lost, so your own mileage may vary there. Hopefully Ridley's creative control with counteract any of Lindleof's bad habits.
thehefner: (Default)
Hey there, whoever's left in LJ land. How's it goin'? Hello? Is anybody even still here?

Man, I've noticed more and more people have dropped off, and I'm not quite sure why. I miss LJ as it was, with people actually blogging every day or two, rather than just posting status updates or glorified tweets on Facebook. Of course, I'm no different, at least when it comes to my personal blog here. But then, I have a baby, so I think I'm excused. And even then, I'm still rocking out on About_Faces as best as I can, doing a post or two a week. I'm pleased with that. It's where I get my best writing out these days.

Which itself isn't a great thing. I should be writing a new show or two. I should be writing one of those books I have in the pipeline. I should finish so many of those projects, but I just feel... it's like, for the past year or so, I've felt creatively constipated. Or perhaps I should say "constipated, creatively-speaking" but even that kinda sounds like I'm coming up with new and innovative ways not to poop. You know what I mean. I hesitate to call it writer's block, since... well, I dunno why.

See, there it is right there, I can't even put words together. I'm frankly amazed I'm even writing this post as well as I am! I've tried to come back write here, I really have, but all attempts have been thwarted by frustration from the inability to find the right words, and/or my lack of personal confidence in anything.

I've got a handful of half-written LJ posts saved, including one about the secret history of Terry Silver, the villain from Karate Kid Part III, as well as the big post wherein I explained why I finally left scans_daily. I also tried doing a New Year's Eve post about bullet points for the year, everything from the fiasco with the DeathBox of a Winnebago that nearly killed us to my anger towards to horrible mismanagement behind DC's Capital Fringe Festival this year. But I just couldn't manage to finish those posts. My energy and insecurity took over, and they become chores rather than... whatever it is that happens when you write something from the heart, be it something silly or heartfelt.

Having the baby and the full household of responsibilities doesn't help. One little thing can throw off the writing groove, and it's hell trying to get back in, because that groove has now been filled in by any of a number of factors. Again, doubt and insecurity, which goes hand in hand with procrastination and distractions. And then there's the exhaustion, oh the exhaustion. Maybe if I weren't so damn tired all the time, none of this would be a factor anymore.

So for the time being, I try not to force anything, and just focus on keeping the house together. Keep the baby healthy and happy. Make sure the girl is okay. Make sure I'm fed and relatively healthy, a count on which I'm definitely failing. And also making sure to keep up with About_Faces, which feeds the struggling fires of passion and excitement and geekiness which I so very much need in general, and especially right now. I gotta be a motherf*king ' ADULT best as I can, while trying to maintain enough of the passion and energy and enthusiasm by the time things calm down. For now, I'm just so damn tired. Bone-tired in ways I cannot--Hemingway help me--put into words.

Okay, back to working on the latest post in my current series of reviews exploring the entire history of Two-Face in Batman: The Animated Series, which I shall compose between bouts on World of Warcraft. Because I still don't quite know the meaning of the words "motherf*king ADULT," you see.
thehefner: (Default)
Earlier tonight, I was ready to destroy the world because someone posted a key spoilery screenshot of the Breaking Bad season finale. Seriously, I was ready to spread destruction across the globe in my fury, as I'd been waiting all week and all night for the episode to pop up on SOME site, since I couldn't watch it when it aired due to fatherly duties. So when I saw that screenshot, I was in full-on KILL ALL HUMANS mode. I instantly knew that it was one of those moments that, had I seen it in the episode itself, would have utterly floored me in the way that Breaking Bad has floored me in ways that no one show in recent memory has, and I was furious that such a rare viewing experience was stolen from me.

But having seen the episode, even that jaw-dropping awesomeness was nothing, nothing compared to that last shot. In that instant, all my excitement was tempered with a bone-chilling twist in my gut that I must exorcise.

I know that most people haven't seen Breaking Bad (Best show that no one is watching? Probably), but I NEED to hash out that ending with people. If you haven't seen the show yet, please, for the love of god, don't click the cut-tag, don't read the comments, basically abandon this post entirely and either rent the series or watch it on Netflix Instant.

SPOILERS SPOILERS OH MY GOD HUGE SPOILERS FOR ***EVERYTHING*** BEHIND THE CUT )
thehefner: (Default)
While shopping at the local Dollar Tree to stock up on cheap supplies now that we've officially moved to Delaware (full post on that to come when I feel like it), Henchgirl and I found something by the kids coloring books and knockoff toys that took our attention:





Comics.

I know, the immediate reaction might be, "Yeah, so what?" I'm trying to put into words just WHY this actually is a big deal.

It's just... they're comics! DC, Marvel, Image, Eclipse, Dark Horse, Valiant... actual old comics, many around dollar-bin worth or a bit higher, two to a package. And they're sold not in a comic shop, but in an actual dollar store, where non-comic-buying people peruse. Here, just look at the back of the package to see what each pack entails:







This... this is the sort of thing that could get a child to read their first comic book. These are starter packs. These are things which can open up a whole new world to a kid, just as spinner racks and comics at the magazine stands at supermarkets used to accomplish! And they're older stuff too, not just kiddified new versions in their own separate continuities! The thought of some kid picking up that issue of The Brave and the Bold and getting introduced to Elongated Man by Jim Aparo, god, it's just so staggeringly wonderful to consider.

Argh, I'm too exhausted to articulate just WHY I think this is so wonderful, or why it feels personally important to me. God, I hope this company keeps putting these out. I hope Dollar Tree keeps carrying them. I hope parents buy them. I hope at least some kids get turned onto comics this way. Basically, the whole thing has turned me into the Ember Island Players' take on Katara by way of Cosmo McKinkey:






It just fills me with SO MUCH HOPE! Lots and lots of HOPE!

And really, considering just how much faith I've lost in DC Comics as a company--between the fact that they're turning Superman into a smirking bully and the open contempt they show towards the few fans who remained faithful to them over the past few crappy years--I desperately need to have this kind of hope in the future of superhero comics.

Not just comics as an art form, mind you, because those will endure one way or another. Not just for superheroes, because they now have been embraced and overshadowed by film and TV. And definitely not for the superhero comics that DC and Marvel are putting out now, where the heroes are douchebags and dickholes. That right there would be enough for many to quit comics entirely, but I can't. Not yet. I believe in superhero comics, and I want there to be future generations to discover them. Getting those new readers from an early age, where wonder and joy and awesomeness (in the truest sense of the word) aren't yet concepts to be looked down upon by those who would fancy themselves "mature," that's far more important to me than Dan DiDio and Jim Lee scrambling to regain the readers who abandoned comics over the past ten years.

Blah, I just don't have the words right now. I'm still exhausted by the move, and too stressed by current stuff to really explain what I mean, but I've just been dying to post SOMETHING, and hopefully I was able to get my point across. This is one of those little big deals, y'know?
thehefner: (Batman: Penguin LOL)
"Good art doesn’t and shouldn’t give me the answer. At its best it might bring you painfully into awareness of how unanswerable the question is."
— Jonathan Franzen, from his interview in today's Calgary Herald-Sun.

That is one of the most cynical goddamn things I’ve ever read. Thank you, Mr. Franzen, for perfectly encapsulating the mentality that makes it impossible for me to find any enjoyment in the art and literary world.

Do I think art should be a mirror for reality, even the ugliest and harshest bits? Fuck yes I do. But if your “at best” scenario is a crushing view of impotence and impossibility, then fuck you, give me superheroes and fairy tales and detective noir and anything else from the so-called “escapist” genres over your version of “art.”

Look, life is hard anyway, and I don’t need my art to just give me a clearer, more eloquent understanding of just HOW hard it is. Great art reminds me of why we keep going, even through the worst humanity and the universe have to offer. Dostoevsky and Shakespeare both understood these extremes, which is why they’re Fucking Dostoevsky and Motherfucking Shakespeare.

Art doesn’t and shouldn’t “give” you actual answers, he’s right about that. But great art can give you hope. And hope is the single greatest non-answer answer that we humans possess.

...

...

This is one of those times where I REALLY should just limit my response to a couple tight, punchy sentences, something that destroys Franzen's soundbite as effectively as the way he said it in the first place. But fuck that, I'm so fed up with that mentality that it just makes me want to spew Red Lantern rage, all the more so after I actually read that interview and discovered what his latest book was about:

In his latest novel Freedom, the cerulean warbler is a symbol of life's personal and political complexities, part of a sprawling plot about a liberal middle-class family imploding with the pressures of teenage rebellion, infidelity, regret and professional frustration.

... Fuck it, I'm macroing this shit. Mr. Cobblepot, your opinion?


thehefner: (Default)
Note: I originally wrote this expressly for [livejournal.com profile] about_faces, but I think that it's since become something of slightly more general interest, and I wanted to post something new here that wasn't baby-related before I begin the deluge of adorable, adorable photos.



Over at Comics Alliance, one of the main writers began his positive review for the new digital comic version of Batgirl: Year One with the following words:


"I'm skeptical of origin stories, particularly ones for characters that are decades old. I mean, honestly -- who cares? Are the specifics that important? Superman is going to be the same character whether he was found as a baby or a toddler. Batman is going to be Batman whether or not he captured Joe Chill. I'd much rather that everyone involved skip all the rigamarole and just get on with the story, you know?"


Something about that stuck in my craw. And not just because I've spent the last five or so years writing an extensive retelling of Harvey's origin as I see fit.

No, it's bugged me for other reasons, such as when people HATED the Billy Quizboy origin episode of Venture Bros. Personally, that episode became one of my all-time favorites because it added an unexpected new level of tragedy and poignancy to Billy and Pete White, who up to that point were little more than two-dimensional minor characters. Others, however, saw "The Invisible Hand of Fate" as a tedious waste of time that detracted from the forward momentum of the main storyline. Who cares about Billy Fucking Quizboy, they asked, when there's a whole other main storyline to follow?

Look, I know that origin stories are INCREDIBLY played-out, especially in movies. I mean, shit, why the hell are we getting yet ANOTHER FUCKING SUPERMAN ORIGIN STORY, when everyone already knows his whole deal and can instantly accept just being thrust into an actual, ready-to-go SUPERMAN movie? I'm tired of everyone trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to origins. There's a reason why X-Men 2, Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, and Superman 2 (the original Donner cut, at least up until the last ten minutes fucking ruin EVERYTHING) are all vastly superior to their respective first films.

And yet, I feel compelled to challenge Mr. Brothers' hypothetical question about origins, mainly because of the examples he gave to back up his point. First off, a good origin story that change our perceptions of that character, making us view all the stories we've already read in different lights. To start with a loaded example, take Batman: The Killing Joke, which gave us the possibility that the Joker was never actually a criminal mastermind, but was just a poor lonely schlub. If you choose to believe that origin (or even if you consider that it's even one of several possible origins he might have), it casts a whole new aspect--one that is simultaneously tragic and chilling--on everything the Joker was, is, and does.

For fans like me who really love thinking about what makes these characters tick, specifics ARE important. Consider what it actually means to have a Batman who captured Joe Chill versus a Batman who never did. Either version means something very different for why Batman does what he does, whether it's out of his personal vendetta against crime or because he's a good person who wants to see justice done. Both are Batman, but they're different KINDS of Batmen. The specifics have far-reaching implications for the personalities and motives of these characters. In Batman's case, it could mean the difference between a Batman who's an inspiring hero and a Batman who's a vengeful dick.

It's not just limited to comics, either. Take John Gardner's wonderful novel, Grendel, a literary prequel which has forever changed how I'll view the monsters from Beowulf. A good backstory, skillfully told, can add a whole new dimension even to characters who are CENTURIES old, partially because a new telling can better reflect a contemporary viewpoint. So the idea that characters who are "decades old" are somehow LESS in need of new/revised origins is just bizarre to me. As these characters have evolved over the years, so too do their origins need to reflect that development. For a perfect example of how a classic chatacter can be improved by a new origin and subsequent writers building upon that origin, look no further than Post-Crisis Catwoman.

I think I've gone into those ideas several times here, especially every time I beat the dead horse of
how much I love Andrew Helfer's "Eye of the Beholder," so I don't need to rehash all those reasons to explain how Harvey Dent has benefited from revised origins over the years, even as some great details have been lost in the shuffle (such as the fact that he originally would donate to charity between crimes).

All that said, not everyone cares about character first and foremost. I suspect some don't give character a second thought, focusing expressly on plot and action above all else. Nowhere was the division of audience preference more clearly divided to me than during the years that Lost was on the air, with seemingly half the audience hooked on the characters' subplots and arcs, with the other half increasingly more interested in the two dozen mostly-bullshit mysteries the show made up on the fly with no real intention of ever actually resolving. Me, I didn't give a shit about what the numbers actually meant, but god damn did I want to know what would happen to Locke, Hurley, Ben, Eko, Lapidus, and pretty much everyone who wasn't Jack, Kate, and Sawyer. The origins and backstories for each character were far more meaningful and interesting than anything we eventually learned about the island itself.

So when I read superhero comics, I don't give a shit about any of the big events. By and large, they're just empty posturing as characters are forced through the motions of some editor's mapped-out plot line, hitting each beat for maximum shock value. Many fans love that. To them, it means progress. It means stories that "matter." But not to me. I'm in it for the characters, both the ones I already know and love and new ones who might work their ways into my hearts. Anything that can flesh those characters out, make them deeper, make them even more interesting and explores their motivations and how they develop, that is what makes their actions MATTER.

Origins and backstory aren't the only ways to accomplish this, but they are an extremely effective one when used well. So to answer Mr. Brothers' hypothetical question: it's me. I care. Specifics are that important, at least for those of us who put character above contrived plots.
thehefner: (Bill the Butcher: Reflective)
I missed seeing two of my favorite comedians from my favorite comedy troupe performing live. One of them in particular is a performer I'd love to have in my own audience, someone with whom I suspect we share a wavelength, and someone I'd dearly enjoy taking out for drinks. At the very least, seeing him live would have been a personal thrill.

I missed and am missing Baltimore Comic Con, where I could have seen a rare, painfully rare panel appearance of my favorite creative team in comics, and subsequently I missed out on finally meeting my favorite among them, a man who happens to be my favorite comic writer. I was ready to finally tell him what I thought of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, a book which he charged me to read when we briefly corresponded in his blog's comments thread. I actually would have had something to talk about with this guy whose work has meant so much to me for almost twenty years. That's not even to mention the fact that I might have been able to finally get a drawing from a man who isn't just one of the finest creative minds at DC Comics, but also those closest thing there is to an official Two-Face artist. Owning a Harvey sketch from him would have been a crowning achievement.

I missed and am missing my favorite Fringe Festival, having made the unprecedented and horrible decision to cancel with just a week's notice. This is a Fringe populated by some of my best friends in the business, one in particular above all others, and the audiences are of the fleeting kind that remind me why I still do this. After a year of frustrating festivals, of disappointments both great (a couple) and small (too many), Indy Fringe would have felt like going back to the well and diving in headfirst. I didn't just want to be there. In some days, I needed it. I still need it.

I know that, if I had done the third, I couldn't have done the first and second favorite things. And yet, here they all are. All at once, these things which are more than diversions but events which are important to me on a personal level of all that drives me as a passionate fan and artist, separated from me only by a little bit of time and a little bit of money. Neither of which I have right now, or at least, neither of which I can spare. So here they are, yes. There they go. And there they've gone.

And yet... and yet again...

Instead of all that, I just spent the last hour with the main (but far from only) cause for why I missed all these things. This same cause ripped me out of my sleep yet again, screamed in my goddamn ears yet again, and puked up upon me yet again. And then I held him. And fed him. And heard his cries recede, his squirms settle down like head on a beer, as he stared up at me with that wide-eyed wonder he has as I read aloud some Harlan Ellison. After I couple pages, I glanced down to check on him, and saw that the pacifier had dropped out of his mouth, because his smile was just too damn big to hold it in.

Goddammit, Universe. You win. Worth it.
thehefner: (Simpsons: Old Gray Mare)
If you're planning to see my show, The Road to Nowhere, at the Capital Fringe Festival, DO NOT READ THE REVIEW BY DC THEATRE SCENE. The reviewer spoiled every single fucking plot point and twist in graphic detail, which, y'know, might not have been so bad if he at least gave me a rave review and a pull-quote or two, or maybe wanted to do a "New Yorker" and wax literary by deeply analyzing every aspect of the show. But no, the spoilers didn't have any bearing on the actual substance of his critique. He just did it anyway, just cuz. Seriously, out of the twelve paragraphs that comprise the review, FIVE are pure spoiler. That's swell. That's fantastic.

I'm making this public purely as a warning to you guys, so hopefully the reviewer himself won't read this, because I still have to figure out a way to politely ask him to alter the review in a way that doesn't piss him off or make him feel like I'm trying to tell him how to do his job. Look, I'm incredibly grateful that he came to see me on my opening night, when I've been completely unable to promote my show due to all the baby-havin'. I want him to know that.

And hell, I really don't care that he didn't love the show. Quite frankly, I can't always be on my A-game due to the fact that I'm tired as all fuck from taking care of a newborn (although those friends of mine who've seen it so far seem to like it a lot either way, so it seems like I'm doing all right), so all I care about right now is having a good time, getting good audiences, and at least breaking even, in that order. But this review could seriously kneecap all three, and I don't even have another show for twelve days, just three shows left in the final weekend of Fringe.

So we are not a very happy, happy Hefner and Henchgirl right about now. Even the Hef!Baby is strangely more upset than usual today. Way to go, Mr. Reviewer, you make my son cry.





Holy shit, I have a son. That's still so weird.
thehefner: (Hello Ladies McCoy)
Ever since Henchgirl started getting me into Star Trek: The Original Series, we've been waiting for Netflix to put it on Instant, which they finally did just in time for the comings months of sleep-deprived babydom! But in a Hefnerian twist, it's only the remastered version with new CGI bits added in.

Is there anybody else out there that finds this to be like a more distractingly annoying version than George Lucas' "remastered" Star Wars editions? Because apparently, no one else seems to HATE this the way Henchgirl and I do. I just don't get why anyone saw the need to do this. The new effects won't make any of the other crappy effects look not-crappy. You can make the Enterprise all slick and panaroamic as you like, but that's still papier-mâché on the walls in the next scene.

Besides, from what I can tell based on the episodes of TOS I've seen so far, the effects aren't the point. It's the writing. It's the characters. It's the ideas. If you tried sprucing up The Twilight Zone with CGI, you'd be missing the point the same way. You're not going to make the Gremlin (On. The. WingofthePLANE.) look any less silly, and the silliness never kept the episode from being considered an all-time classic in the first place, so why bother? Who are you trying to impress? What are you trying to improve? It's the exact same thing with the remastered TOS.

As time has gone by, TOS honestly looks strangely not-dated, as if taking place in its very own special point in the past, with only the occasional female character's hairstyle giving the 60's-ness away. The CGI, on the other hand, screams 2007, and thus instantly dates this version of an increasingly timeless show.

Saddest part of all? We watched some of Star Trek: The Next Generation and found that the 20+ year old effects actually hold up WAY better than the CGI remastered TOS episodes, if only because the effects are consistent within the aesthetic of the show.

... And to think, I started writing this post with the intent to do a major Triple/Quadruple Feature essay on the TOS episode "The Doomsday Machine," compared to TNG's "Chain of Command, Pt. 1," (comparing Decker to Jellico and the sometimes-forgotten militaristic themes in ST), followed by a second essay which would compare "Chain of Command, Pt. 2" and the Babylon 5 episode, "Intersections in Real Time" (two of Sci-Fi's all-time great examinations at interrogation and torture).

That's what I meant to write, but yeah, didn't happen. How can I explain why in a way that's thematic appropriate to this post?





Ahhh yeah, that's the stuff.
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
Henchgirl and I give you a massive 11 lbs bundle of win now officially named Harold (Hal) Tiberius Hefner.





A couple people assumed we'd name our boy Harvey, but even I'm not that cruel and/or stupid. Even still, while we love the name we've chosen and think it's better than any other name we could come up with (it offers up a ton of options, including "Harry" and "Ty," and maybe he'll even be a "Hef" as well), it's a bit weird not to think of him as anything other than "Baybeh." And no wonder, considering that we call each other "Boy" and "Girl" and refer to my cat Giorgio as "kitty."

And yes, you read that right. Eleven fucking pounds. Some people haven't found this uncommon, but the hospital certainly did. Two hours after delivery, random doctors and nurses kept popping in to see the Giant Baby for themselves. On top of that, he's 24 inches long, making him too big for newborn clothes. Also, did I mention that Henchgirl didn't have a C-section? Because she didn't. Yeah, bow down before the most hardcore goddamn fangirl in the world.

There's a whole story to go along with the birth, and if I had the energy, I could seriously have whipped together a tense and frighting scenario of fears and complications which eventually resulted in the delivery room being flooded with about eight or nine scrambling doctors and nurses working against the clock. A couple different nurses on separate occasions later told us that the delivery was the event of the day, and that this baby was one for the record books.

The important thing is that we're all okay. Exhausted and cranky, but okay. Oh, and did I mention that I'm performing my multimedia-heavy solo comedy The Road to Nowhere at the Capital Fringe Festival THIS FRIDAY? And that's not even counting the tech rehearsal on Thursday! Tech rehearsal! With lines, and where I have to make sure that all the equipment works! HAHAHAHAHA.

But it'll be okay. If Henchgirl can bring this guy into the world, I can survive the next couple weeks. Well, months, counting Indy Fringe. By that point, I imagine that our family situation will start looking a little like this:





Fucking hell. I'm a "Paw."

I can do this. Now, time to make sure the sleep works, make some diaper, change the pediatrician's office, call up to make an appointment at the projection equipment, and make certain to catch a few hours of baby formula. Monkey banana raffle. 4 //. Itchy. Tasty.

...

Okay, maybe some of that stuff can wait for after a bit of sleep. I gotta take it when I can get it now, after all.
thehefner: (Default)
I think that one of the reasons I became a writer (as if it was an actual choice and not an ingrained compulsion) was due to a lifetime of feeling like I'm unable to communicate with people. Even now, I'm struggling to explain how I've struggled to explain for as long as I can recall. It's like having writer's block in your everyday life.

When you're a kid, you don't have the perspective to really convey how you're terrified by things which seem inconsequential to others. Adults can't read your mind, and others kids are little sociopaths who don't give a shit anyway, so you struggle and fumble and feel utterly impotent to get them to understand what you simply cannot put into words. In some ways, I feel like I haven't grown out of that.

I've gotten better, sure, but I had to go through alternate outlets. Being a withdrawn child who was extroverted only to those interested enough to offer their attention, I think that I pretty much gained the entirety of my socialization through movies, comics, and The Simpsons. I don't think I'm the only one to work this way. Geeks have a hidden language all our own, where we can hold whole conversations with other people's quotes.

Like many geeks, that still meant that I was still socially lopsided with everyone else in the world. That part still hasn't changed. Put me in a room with non-geeks, and I'll still gravitate towards some corner or find a way to vanish entirely, even if it's within myself. I've always identified with the song "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago, and there are often times when I feel like that's not such a bad thing.

Maybe it just happened out of necessity, but I came to enjoy my solitude. I mean, as long as I had the internet, where I can lurk and hide and then choose to make myself visible on my own terms. But that's been getting harder and harder of late. The geek landscape is changing into something that's as socially alien and unwelcoming to me as any neighborhood block party or distant-family reunion. For months now, I've been trying to explain the sense of loss and detachment I feel from comics and geek communities, how I increasingly don't recognize those who should be my kind, how my safe space has been renovated and redecorated when I wasn't looking, and co-opted by people who are only superficially my peers. Maybe it's always been like this. Maybe I've only noticed it now that I have the courage to reach out and try to mingle, rather than keeping to my own corner of geekdom.

...Damn, that's what I've been doing, isn't it? Keeping to my corner again. Dash it all, I liked my corner! It was safe, it was fun, it was a place to put all my issues (ha-ha, pun)! But I can't go back. I've gotten too big for it.

So I tried to go out and make a new corner, but this one would be in real life (well, theatre life, so only halfway real), and might actually make me money. Fringe Festivals have been amazing experiences which have forced me to interact with people, to summon up the courage to face a machine-gun blast of rejection whenever I hand out fliers for my solo comedy to a group of people lined up for an experimental dance show, with the hope that maybe one person might be interested and then I could afford dinner. It's been great, and I'm dedicated to doing it as long as I can.

But I still haven't quite learned how to turn off the invisibility switch. Four years in, and I'm still struggling to get audiences. It's not because my shows are bad, as I've gotten way more positive than negative reviews. Every festival seems to have another handful of audience members who love my shows and do everything in their power to talk me up to others. So yes, I'm very well-liked... when people actually see me. The problem is getting the interest in the first place. Four years, and I'm still flying under the radar. Lately, I'm just feeling weighed down by the utter lack of interest in anything I have to offer, and I don't know how to market myself better. I've learned so much, and yet it seems like Mr. Cellophane is too ingrained.

But I still perform. I have to. Garrison Keillor said it best: "If you're lucky enough to stay in it for a while, you realize that [storytelling is] a performance art in which the purpose is to gain intimacy with people whom you will never, ever know. To become intimate with strangers." To me, those words felt like an uppercut of truth. Thing is, Keillor meant it for older people like himself, saying that intimacy was "easier" for young bucks like me. God, I hope not. Don't tell me that this gets harder.

And it is hard, harder than I can get anybody to fully understand. Like, I so need to communicate what I've been going through over the past year, to cleanse myself of all these events with words, preferably funny words. But to do so, I'd need a book's worth of words to describe the whole picture. I've been trying for months now to explain how tired I've been, and the exact WAYS I've been tired. Trying and failing. It's not just the pregnancy thing, and even that alone hasn't been your typical experience for impending parenthood. There's the traveling, the RV situation, the moving, the writing, the not-writing, the death of a pet, all these things which most people have some experience, but not ours. Not mine. And if I can't get them to understand, I feel like I have no one to blame but myself.

... Oh, duh. God, I'm so stupid. Of course this is yet another thing that goes back to being the child of an alcoholic and mentally ill parent, isn't it? The inability to get people to understand something in which they have no basis of comparison. The desperate, burning need to communicate with a language that no one speaks. Not unless you've been in the area.

So thank god for Henchgirl. She gets it. She gets it better than I ever thought anyone else could get it. And I mean, all of it, everything from the parental stuff to the geek passion and all the invisible, intangible things that fly under my own radar, but are still there, still present, still represented. She gets it. Regular geeks speak the same language, but Henchgirl and I speak the same dialect.

We're the sole survivors of the same neighborhood in the same city in the same country of the same planet. And over two years, we've experienced the same way, suffered the same way, laughed the same way, complained the same way, been bored the same way, freaked out the same way, gone delightfully BONKERS the same way, and loved the same way. We've carved out our own little corner, but now--against all odds and reason--we're trying/having to make room for a third.

Don't get me wrong, it's fucking scary to bring someone else into our corner just when it seemed like we get everything just the way we wanted it. It's terrifying, and sometimes don't even seem fair. But even corners aren't meant to be static. Even if you try to keep everything as it was, you just end up like Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. Your corners change with you and they change around you. And you can have more than one corner, like I have at least one for comics thanks to [livejournal.com profile] about_faces, and like I shall continue to cultivate at Fringe Festivals for as long as possible. And eventually, you find someone else to share your corner, someone who likes the decor and digs the atmosphere enough to stick around. Then, if you're really lucky (at least I think it's luck), you can create your own corner together.

So that's what we'll do. That's what we're doing. That's the only way I can really describe it without photos, pie charts, PowerPoint, a few hundred thousand words, and probably Smell-O-Vision. So we'll continue to develop our corner and try keeping up with how it develops around us. And in the meantime, I'll keep trying to learn the language of strangers.
thehefner: (Default)
Life these days is a series of situations that are all relatively easy to deal with on their own, or even two at a time, all coming at us at once. I'd post about them more, but I can't help but feel like it'd be a whole lotta complaining about stuff that we're already on top of combined with the stuff that's out of our control. So I'm going to cut this post with images of owls with stupid expressions on their faces, just to make it all go down easier.





For my part, I'm tired. More tired than I've ever been, more tired than I was trying to pick up the pieces after Dad's death. And that tiredness has made dealing with my everyday neuroses just that much harder. And I was never that good at handling them in the first place! But after yet disappointing another Fringe Festival (and like all the disappointing Festivals over the past year, there have been entirely logical reasons WHY they were disappointing, but that doesn't help my emotional state), AND the moving situation, I'm wiped out and not really looking forward to doing CapFringe and IndyFringe this year. I've never been one for regrets, but I do so wish that I could go back a year and plan this all out better.





As for that moving situation, we're currently living at the beach while the Cabin John house... my home... is on the market. It's been repainted and rearranged to the point that it's effectively no longer my home anymore. It looks depressingly like... like a NORMAL person's house! Ew! But we can't stay there, since it's on the market, thus we're in Delaware. This means that we'll have to drive a couple hours to the hospital once she goes into labor, which should be within, what, a week? Two weeks? More? Any day now? We're just waiting, and we have to wait here, because our actual home has to be clean and free of people. Hard for prospective buyers to impose their vision onto a property with a fanboy and a pregnant Henchgirl squatting in the living room.





We're staying at the new house Mom bought in Delaware, which will be our main base of operations once renovations are completed by early next year. We're by Broadkill Beach, near Slaughter Beach. I fucking love that. In reality, it's not so much the site of a boobtacular slasher film as much as the nation's site for Horseshoe Crab Orgies. So, almost as good, right? That almost makes up for the fact that we're going to be living in Delaware.





In truth, living at the regular house in Rehoboth Beach is great, as we adore that place. But unless you all come to see my show at CapFringe in a couple weeks, and bring your friends and family and pets in people costumes so that they can be charged as adults, that beach house will be my sole source of income. Did you know that we're still renting it out? Because we totally are still renting out the house in Rehoboth Beach!





I guess what it all comes down to is the fact that we have a lot to do, all of which costs a LOT of money and causes a lot of stress, onlt some of which might possibly make us some money in the process. What I'm saying is, if you want a piece of Hefner, you have options!

Want to own the house where Hefner lived? Well, you can! Want to just rent a house where Hefner lives? You can do that too! Want to rent Hefner himself for an evening (I mean, as a performer? I mean, as a non-sexual performer? I mean, to talk about himself for an hour with jokes and slides?) Here's your big chance! And if you still want a piece of Hefner's creativity but aren't able to travel, well, I'm finally starting to post the Harvey Dent novel, chapter by chapter. For those who've read it already, I've changed a lot and I'll be changing even more after the acid hits. It's gonna be a whole different story by that point, and with Henchgirl as my editor, I'm going to finally finish this for good.






That's about it for now. Back to life. Mine, hers, and the brand-new little one that's about to arrive. Any day/week/minute now.
thehefner: (Green Lantern: Facepalm and Rage)
Why did the Green Lantern movie suck so much? The answer, according to one source, may be exactly as I feared:


One thing I feel needs mentioning: this is not Martin Campbell’s cut of the film, but the studio’s. I live in New Orleans where it was shot, I read the shooting script, all of which was painstakingly filmed with intense research, and all of that was left on the cutting room floor — a sort of combination of what happened to Daredevil and Watchmen, respectively — character development sacrificed for CG, scenes made irrelevant by removing their setup. The movie in the theater starts with an explanation of mythos that is made redundant by the more natural, scripted questions from Hal when he gets the ring. Ten minutes of childhood Hal, Carol, and Hector that sets up Hal’s first ring construct is reduced to an awkwardly placed flashback in the middle of another scene. The training with the ring is almost completely excised except for one minor scene. Most appallingly, the ending completely deletes the fact that Kilowog, Sinestro, and Toma-Re arrive at the end and help Hal defeat Parallax. Not to mention Parallax was supposed to be a 3rd act reveal after we spend the film worried about Hammond going evil, not the main villain for the entire film. I sincerely hope we get a director’s cut or at least all the deleted scenes on the video release.


Very interesting. Even if we do get a director's cut, I wonder how much of this bittersweetly-hilarious list will still hold true.

I don't know to what extent the source is to be believed, but it certainly jives with the finished product we saw on the screen. It sounds like Daredevil all over again, where a studio hacks apart of decent enough film and turns it into a franchise-kneecapping disaster unloved by audiences and critics alike. The Daredevil: Director's Cut is a far more watchable and enjoyable film, just shy of the first Spider-Man film in terms of quality, but the was already done. Put it another way, I still haven't watched the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven, which was also hacked apart by the studio, because I just don't care enough. Who'll care enough about the director's cut of GL when it's so universally panned and has actively pissed off fandom?

I fear that the character of Hal Jordan--already one of the most controversial and LOATHED characters in fandom--will never recover from this. The only thing keeping him going will be the stubbornness of Geoff Johns and DC who refuse to believe that anyone couldn't dislike the character. It hurts a vital part of me deep inside to admit that even I no longer like Hal Jordan. Not as he is. Maybe not even as he ever actually was, but rather just the version I always WANTED him to be back when he was replaced by Kyle "Poochie Parker" Rayner. This is a very distressing thing to consider as a fan.

Looks like my only hope left for a quality GL adaptation rests entirely where I least expected it:





Much as I dislike CGI shows, I have to remind myself that Bruce Timm is producing. Maybe it won't suck. Maybe maybe maybe.
thehefner: (Green Lantern: Bling Bling!)
While I steadfastly avoided the reviews for Green Lantern which popped up today on the sites I usually go to (and the fact that they're not releasing reviews until the day before release is a bad sign of WB/DC's own confidence in their overly-promoted would-be blockbuster), just seeing the dire headlines was enough to confirm the worst: this film was going to be the disaster we always thought it would be. Or worse, it would be a tedious slog with horrible CGI, an inglorious mess which isn't even fun as a train wreck.

The reality is, it wasn't that bad. Oh, it wasn't great either, but it's far from a terrible movie. It's just an incredibly flawed movie with great stuff that are threatened to be overshadowed by stupid and boring stuff. It has FOUR story credits, and it sure feels like four half-baked films with great premises, great moments, great potential, all of which go nowhere.

For instance, take Hector Hammond, the giant-headed sub-villain of the film. He's given decidedly more humanity, tragedy, and backstory than the character in comics ever had, but so much of that comes through the actor's performance and scant hints from the screenplay which, at times, seem to come out of nowhere, and subseqquently go nowhere. Hector's subplot, which had a lot of great elements, ultimately didn't serve the movie one bit, and just added to the bloat.

This is going to sound worse than I mean it, but in terms of that bloat, I was comparing Green Lantern to the third Pirates movie, while Henchgirl compared it to X-Men 3. Now, I liked GL waayyyyyy more than either of those films, especially fucking Pirates 3, but GL similarly suffers from filmmakers wanting to cram way too much into one little film, introducing one great element only to abandon it for another, and so on.

For example: Tomar-Re was WONDERFUL. Geoffery Rush and the CGI team combined to make a delightful character and break ol' fish-beak to life. He showed up, had great lines, delivered exposition, then vanished. What was the point of having him there in the first place? Then Sinestro shows up to beat up Hal, which serves as both a prelude for their friendship in the short term and their OTP of Hatred in the long term. But before any of that can be established, he too is gone. Mark Strong's Sinestro was great and nuanced, but he too was given far too little to do, and he shared far too little screentime with Hal to make it matter. Henchgirl says that Sinestro could have had Tomar-Re's whole role, and she's absolutely right. Just one of many examples of this film trying to spread itself too thin with the mythos.

I don't know what this film should have been. Maybe it should have been grounded entirely on Earth, with Hal Jordan's life being intruded upon by sci-fi elements with a few hints of the grander cosmic opera into which he's found himself intertwined. Maybe they should have thrust Hal directly to Oa and the Corps, dropping the cocky human right into the Space Opera amidst all the aliens ala Farscape. Maybe they should have ditched Green Lantern: Secret Origin (the lackluster Geoff Johns take on Hal's origin which DC is pushing as the be-all end-all BIBLE of Hal Jordan) and instead gone for Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn, the greatest GL origin which has been forgotten because people still hate that Hal was a drunk driver in that story. I defy people to look down on that now, since the Hal Jordan of the film is a complete and utter ASSHOLE. Not even a redeemable asshole like Tony Stark, just an asshole. As a longtime Hal Jordan fan, it pisses me off that many people will see that as a faithful take on the character.

The film wasn't terrible. I mean, it was a mess, and it was often boring, but it was also often delightful, fun, funny, thrilling, and soaring (Hal's first flight was a genuine bit of movie magic). We saw this in 2D, but we now want to watch it in 3D. I actually want to pay money to see this film in 3D. That should count for something. God knows how much watching it on the small screen will hurt the effects and bring out the flaws.

In terms of enjoyment quality, I put this film on the level of the first X-Men and Spider-Man films. Which is to say, they're flawed messes with cheese, stupidity, and tedium duking it out with the great stuff, which itself sets the stage for a potentially GREAT sequel. Here's hoping that happens, assuming that this doesn't flop. Granted, Transformers was a ridiculously stupid and critically-panned movie that was still a hit, but I fear that GL might be slightly too smart even in its stupidity to appeal to your average stupid movie-viewer. And if it flops, god knows what that'll mean for DC, who seems to have everything riding on this one damn movie.

There's a lot more I could say, but for now, this is the only review I've yet read which pretty much nails my thoughts (but it comes with a SPOILER tag, so be warned). For those who've seen it, let's discuss it in the comments.

I've been waiting for a Green Lantern movie with Hal Jordan and the Corps since I was thirteen years old. I feel like I'm still waiting.
thehefner: (I'm a pirate! YARR!)
For a movie that's getting so much praise as to be called "second only to The Dark Knight", X-Men: First Class was far more dumb, annoying, and frustrating than I was expecting. Oh, make no mistake, there's a lot that is excellent about it too. Pretty much everything with Magneto. Unsurprisingly. I mean, duh. But until I can do a full, spoiler-riddled review for discussion with others who've seen it, all I can say is that so much of it is stupider than I think most critics seem to be talking about.

I'm reminded of how some people called Thor and Iron Man "dumb action movies," even when they meant that as praise, whereas the stupid in X-M:FC far out-stupids those films. Hell, I'm further reminded of how people dismissed Iron Man's status as a great film opposite The Dark Knight, which was clearly the better superhero film for no other reason than because it was so dark and serious. I'm getting seriously sick of people, especially comic fans, equating "fun" with "stupid." I guess even geeks are guilty of the Oscar mentality that a comedy or action/drama with comedic elements can't be a Capital-G "Great" Movie.

Tangent: But it goes more deeply than that as far as geeks are concerned. Some time back, I read an essay that posited a theory that many geeks are deeply insecure about their passions, mainly after years of being told that the things they love are juvenile, only for kids, and that they need to grow out of it. To compensate, they want their superheroes and their cartoon adaptations to be dark, gritty, SERIOUS, so that they can feel like they're enjoying "adult" entertainment. Thus, we get a tone-deaf, blindly stupid Transformers film, which somehow removes all sense of enjoyment out of a huge-budget film about giant robots hitting each other.

Second tangent: Thor was also, coincidentally, called "The next Dark Knight by io9.com. Not only has this proved not to be the resounding case with movie or comic fans alike, but it's also an obnoxious reminder of how TDK remains flawless in the general esteem of fans and critics. When's the last time any of them have seen it on a TV screen, where the problems with that film are so much more evident? Seriously, if somebody really wants to earn my respect and interest in a superhero film they're espousing, call it "the next Batman: Mask of the Phantasm instead.
thehefner: (Scott and Barda are US SO SCHMOOPY)
I made it home after a long drive following a very disappointing Fringe experience, my body feels like a twisted series of Gordian knots after the seventeen-hour-drive, and it's all capped off by learning that DC Comics is on the verge of an incredibly stupid move (one which, if it fails, will completely screw DC Comics), one which has kicked off several essays in response ranging from tones of contemplation and exasperation.

But right now, none of that matters. Because I'm back with Henchgirl.

To quote a great physician, "Life was bad. But now it's good forever!"
thehefner: (Default)
As I await my final show tonight in this year's frustrating and lonely experience at Orlando Fringe Festival, it feels somewhat bittersweet that perhaps the utter highlight of my fourteen days here is that my host with let me play Portal 2. I could only do it a couple hours at a time, and I would spend the rest of the day OBSESSED with the game, dying to finish it.

Now, I'm not a gamer, and that's purely out of necessity. The internet alone is a huuuuuge distraction that keeps me from getting any work done, but you give me a video game and it's like giving a case of Jack to a recovering alcoholic. But as anybody who's played Portal and/or Portal 2 know, these games are different from your average games. Frankly, these are games which I wish could be experienced by many of my non-gamer friends, people like [livejournal.com profile] tompurdue, [livejournal.com profile] fiveseconddelay, and [livejournal.com profile] box_in_the_box. It plays on

It's not only because the portal puzzles are great fun (to the point that some people find themselves still thinking in portals long after they play the game), but--far more importantly for me--these games are exceedingly well-written. This may sound like a basic virtue until you realize that the writing on almost all video games is fucking ABYSMAL. Because writing isn't the point. Writing isn't what designers focus upon, nor is it what gamers care about. Graphics and playability rule all, it seems. That's probably why, when it comes to stupid obnoxiousness, many gamers actually beat out the worst of comics fandom.

But the Portal games are exceptional in the neglected gaming areas of great writing and acting. As I lacked any console or PC, when the original Portal came out, I just watched the entire game on YouTube walkthrough videos. It actually held up as incredibly fun and funny viewing experience:



Of course, just watching gameplay is probably considered blasphemy by gamers. And in truth, it's not the same as actually playing Portal, as it lacks the immense satisfaction you get from FINALLY figuring out a particularly tricky puzzle. Henchgirl is still battle-scarred from the first game, and is known to shudder at the mere mention of Portal and curse, "FUCKING MOMENTUM." I am bloody dying to watch her play Portal 2, in the event that we're actually stupid enough to get a console.

But again, fun and adrenalicious as the puzzles are, the real joy for me in this game was the writing and vocal performances of the characters. There's something about Portal 2 which puts it comfortably around the similar realms of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the more "Science!" aspects of The Venture Bros. But then, that all could just be the pre-recorded messages of J.K. Simmons as Cave Johnson, who's sort of like if J. Jonah Jameson voiced Stan Lee becoming Rusty Venture:



And then, of course, there's GLaDOS, the dryly passive-aggressive HAL 9000 guide/antagonist from the first game, about whom much has been said. Here, she actually gets a surprisingly great deal of character development, as does your affable new sidekick Wheatley, a bumbling British robot who saves your life at the game's start and proves to be INCREDIBLY helpful and informative throughout the game:



One of the finest moments between the two characters happens when he helps you finally confront GLaDOS, in this SERIOUSLY SPOILERY sequence which is plenty entertaining to watch for those of you who don't mind being spoiled. That's several minutes where you can't do anything, where there's no gameplay, and yet it's entertaining and riveting as hell!

Problem with falling in love with Portal 2 halfway into the game was that there was no one with whom I talk about the game. People who played the game were incapable of keeping spoilers from me, in that even "Oh, I can't talk about that yet!" is kind of a spoiler itself. Shit, the fact that I'm posting all this means I'm probably going to alter the gaming (or viewing) experience for anyone who hasn't played the games! I'm no better. At the same time, I've spent the past couple days trying and failing to explain the game and quote lines to people whom I KNOW would love Portal 2, but it means nothing out of context. You can't quote Simpsons or Monty Python's Flying Circus to anyone who hasn't seen the episodes in question.

Portal 2's the same damn way. And yet, it still under my skin, still playing in my head, and those characters now already feel like old friends to me to the point that... welp, here I am. Just can't help myself. Maybe I'm just throwing myself into this post because I don't want to think about IRL things, like what the hell kind of turnout I'm going to have in tonight's last show, or going to the Fringe after-party, or how it'll still be two and a half more days of work and driving before I can see Henchgirl again. Besides [livejournal.com profile] about_faces, that game has given this non-gamer a welcome relief in these past two weeks (what feels like two months) of blahness.
thehefner: (Venture Bros: Theatre People)
One of these days, I really need to work on a proper essay about Frank Oz's Little Shop of Horrors, to cover five topics in detail:

1.) Why it's one of the greatest movie musicals ever, even if the only time I ever hear it referenced in pop culture is via Family Guy (who've directly homaged it no less than three times)

2.) Why it's vastly superior to the stage versions, both the original and revival

3.) Why Menken and Ashman are perhaps the greatest musical writing duo of all time

4.) The brilliant Bill Murray scene, which adds absolutely nothing to the story

5.) Why it's a rare example of a studio audience being absolutely right in rejecting the dark original ending in favor of a re-shot happy one.

For now, I'll say this much. In the context of the original stage show, it fits to have the plant win. It's a Faustian bargain, and those never go well. But the film makes enough tweaks to the storyline, most notably with the brilliant new song "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space," that automatically make Seymour less of a weak-willed sucker who deserves his fate and more of an underdog who we WANT to win. Frankly, Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene put so much genuine emotion into "Suddenly Seymour" that I honestly can't imagine anyone really enjoying watching them lose and get eaten, as the original script warranted. But no matter how important and truthful it is to see people pay for the consequences of their actions, I find the original ending to LSOH too damn ugly, because Seymour and Audrey just didn't deserve their fates, especially since the film version pretty much absolved Seymour for Mr. Mushnik's death by outright making Mushnik an opportunistic, blackmailing thief. For those who haven't seen it, here's how the film originally ended, and it's the version preferred by Oz, Moranis, and pretty much everybody involved with the film:











It doesn't help that "Don't Feel the Plants" is the weakest song by far of all the songs included in the LSOH film. The film lost several songs from the original Off-Broadway version, and was better off for it. None of those songs were anything to write home about, and the same goes for "Don't Feed the Plants," which fails to convincingly sell the idea that the two characters whom you came to care about all died in the name of the film's overall message. It's a bad song and a bad ending that appeals only to critics who bend over backwards to betray character and emotion in the cold name of theme.
thehefner: (Simpsons: Old Gray Mare)
I'm in Orlando for the Fringe, and I am alone. Sans Henchgirl. And it shall be this way until the end of the month. For those who remember the Hamilton Fringe debacle where Henchgirl and I were separated by our own billet, it's like that, but now the billet is GOD. But there's no way she could be here, as was confirmed to me yesterday as I spent three hours in the Orlando sun.

Last night, I won a Feldman Award for best solo show! I should mention that the Feldman Awards are handed out at random, before the festival even started. So between that and my coveted Patron's Pick award from 2009 (which I won by default of being the ONLY show in my venue, and therefore was the best-selling), I'm now the king of meaningless awards at Orlando Fringe! I wonder if I can use either of them in press materials without feeling like a fraud. I don't feel like I'm beloved by the people here enough to pull off something quite that shameless.

Opening night is tomorrow, and I'm terrified. The tech rehearsal went a little TOO well. It's a trick, get an axe. For now, I'm just going to market like a motherfucker, handing out fliers and testing to see how much stronger my tolerance for rejection has gotten over the years. Of course, if the world does up and end this Saturday, I either won't have to worry about getting audiences, or it'll just be me with the heathens. Which, of course, is pretty much everybody at the Orlando Fringe Festival. We can start our own self-sufficient community, performing experimental theatre for food! Really, how is that any different from what I'm making now?

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